North Spencer Community Schools


Good Practice Model

North Spencer Community Schools

Successful model:
Superintendent Joan L. Keller
North Spencer Community Schools
Head Nurse Debbie Fischer
Chrisney Elementary
David Turnham Elementary
Lincoln Trail Elementary
Nancy Hanks Elementary

General Information:
Debbie Fischer has been a nurse for 34 years. She is the head nurse in her school district, but also is the school nurse for the 4 elementary schools in her district. During the summers, she teaches a class for new school nurses at the Department of Education. She values the time a child spends in the classroom, so she groups screenings together whenever possible. This minimizes the amount of time a child spends out of the classroom. Debbie measures the students by grade level and by classroom. By state law, certain grade levels require certain screenings. For example, with first graders Debbie measures height and weight and also conducts vision and hearing screenings. Generally, if the grade level has no additional screenings, it takes only 15 minutes for her to measure a classroom of 18-22 students. This year she has measured 1,300 students (4 elementary schools).

Good Tips

  1. Measure the students in the fall. If there are visual or hearing problems it is better to have these discovered before losing a whole school year.
  2. Have the teacher line up the students alphabetically.
  3. Obtain a roster before measuring.
  4. When a nurse has a large number of students and has a limited amount or resources, he or she must allocate their time in the most efficient way possible. Combining screenings is an effective way to measure students.

Interviewed and reported by Joanna Cornwell, the Governor’s Fellow, October 19, 2005